Hemant Bhagwani, chef and owner of the Indian Street Food Company in Toronto, is taking an approach that he hopes will impress his patrons and attract the best employees in the business.
He’s adopted a no-tipping policy. Instead, he’s paying his staff more wage and letting them share the profits of the restaurant.
Instead of encouraging customers to drop a 15-20% tip at the end of every meal, Bhagwani is charging you a 12% administrative fee, and will divert 10% of the businesses take to staff wages.
Wait a minute. Read that previous paragraph again. Is the owner admitting that he’s going to take a 2% cut of the profits from the new fee for himself? Sneaky.
“Instead of paying [staff] minimum wage, we create a pool and it goes into their wages, depending upon the positions, how many hours they’re working,” he told the CBC HERE.
It’s a model that has become more popular over the last few years.
One of the reasons why Bhagwani did this was to make the work environment more equitable. He doesn’t like the fact that dishwashers sometimes work harder than the rest of the kitchen, yet they’re paid the lowest wage.
Other restaurants have tried this approach. Smoke ‘N Water in British Columbia, considered to be the first Canadian restaurant to take the no-tipping approach, closed up after only 3 months of operation back in 2014. The customers didn’t cozy up to the new concept.
Do you like having the power to decide how much money a server is paid from your meal? If somebody performs admirably and puts more effort into the work they do, shouldn’t they make slightly more than somebody who isn’t trying as hard? Should tipping be eliminated at every restaurant?